coach4growth transparent smaller 2

We've all heard of or seen a number of acronyms thrown around as coaching models over the years.  Whether in management training or during your own coaching sessions with your leader, Coaching Models have become very common in recent years.  Let’s examine the benefits of using a Coaching Model as well as some of the more common and effective models out there.

What is a Coaching Model?

Coaching Models are typically comprised of the steps within a coaching roadmap outlined in an easy to remember acronym.  Since coaching conversations can often be difficult conversations, Coaching Models are intended to provide some consistency in the flow of the conversation and a plan to ensure all of the key topics are covered.

Benefits of Using a Coaching Model

Whether you’re an experienced people leader or a new coach, leveraging a Coaching Model will help you to ensure you have a solid plan for your coaching conversation.  We all know that planning is key to having a productive coaching conversation and walking away from the conversation with employee commitment to improve.  In addition, having an easy to remember flow to a conversation will give you a level of comfort no matter which direction the conversation takes as you always know what your next step is.  This means it essentially helps you stay focused and better able to manage the coaching interaction.


Common Coaching Models


IGROW Coaching Model

IGROW is an effective coaching model for performance improvement conversations.  It helps you to structure the coaching conversation so that the issue is highlighted and that you exit the coaching conversation with a solid development plan.

  • Issue

  • Goal

  • Root Cause

  • Outcomes

  • What’s Next

For more in depth information on how to apply this model you can find more in the article IGROW Model for Performance Improvement and the Coaching Conversation.


GROW Coaching Model

The Grow coaching model is one of the more common models and can be used with broad application.  It is much like the IGROW coaching model but leaves room for constructive or strength focused conversations.

  • Goal Setting

  • Reality

  • Options

  • What Action is Next


ACHIEVE Coaching Model

This coaching model provides greater detail on the steps to take within a coaching conversation.

  • Assess the Current Situation

  • Creatively Brainstorm Alternatives

  • Hone Goals

  • Initiate Options

  • Evaluate Options

  • Validate an Action Program Design

  • Encourage Momentum



While this model is not explicitly for coaching conversations, you can see how it can be leveraged in this way.  It can be used in a variety of ways, whether focused on employee development, self improvement, or problem solving.

  • State the Problem

  • Observe the Problem Resolved

  • List the Exceptions

  • Verify the Plan

  • Execute the Plan


Select the Right Coaching Model for You

Any of these coaching models can be applied effectively and lead to productive outcomes from your coaching conversations.  When you’re using a Coaching Model successfully, you should feel like you’re having a natural conversation rather than walking through a checklist.   No matter which coaching model you use, the important thing is to feel comfortable.  The more comfortable and confident you are, the more productive and successful your coaching conversation will be.

What other Coaching Models do you use?  Have you found one particular approach better than others?  We’d love to hear your comments on our Facebook page!